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Attract investment first, assess environmental impact later: Minister

Jakarta Post - January 23, 2020

Jakarta – The government plans to relax environmental impact analysis (Amdal) requirements as it seeks to improve the country's ease of doing business, a minister has said.

"Issue the business permit first. If a business fails to comply [with the Amdal], we will revoke their permits," Coordinating Political, Legal and Security Affairs Minister Mahfud MD said at an event held by law firm Dentons HPRP in Jakarta on Wednesday.

The long process required to obtain the document had deterred investors, he added.

According to the Investment Coordinating Board (BKPM), investment rose to Rp 800 trillion (US$58.6 billion) last year from Rp 721 trillion in 2018, exceeding the government's target of Rp 790 trillion.

The government plans to relax the Amdal requirements through an omnibus bill on job creation, which is expected to make it easier to establish a business in the country. If passed, the law will amend thousands of articles in more than 80 existing laws deemed to have deterred investment.

The omnibus bill on job creation will also see building permit (IMB) requirements scrapped for low-risk investments. The Amdal and IMB requirements have been criticized by business players as unnecessary red tape.

However, experts and environmental activists, such as the Indonesian Forum for the Environment (Walhi), have voiced opposition to the plan, and have called for sustainable efforts to attract investment. (dfr)

Source: https://www.thejakartapost.com/news/2020/01/22/attract-investment-first-assess-environmental-impact-later-minister.html